On letting go of a past dream

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Wedding portraits at Terrenea ResortThis month has been about finalizing some big changes.

I have finally been BRAVE enough to do that thing that I’ve been thinking about for about 2 years.

I dissolved my photography business. Officially official. The state of CA has my paperwork and the bank has closed my account and the only think I have left to do is take down my site and close my email account.

My emotions have completely swung the whole gamut over the last couple years, fighting with myself, talking myself into it, admitting things about myself that I have only recently discovered. It would have been fascinating to watch if it wasn’t happening for me. As it is, I’m glad I’m through it all.

I think that I am a good (enough) photographer. I think that I am a good (enough) businessperson. I live in SoCal where there are plenty of people who have money to pay for wedding photographs. I genuinely love weddings. I genuinely love documentary-style photography and I think everyone should have fantastic wedding photos that they love. I am still proud of the work that I’ve done for couples since 2008.

All of that said – being a professional wedding photographer is not for me.

There are a lot of reasons. Big reasons and little reasons. Tiny preferences, practicalities and discoveries about my personality. Being a professional photographer is A LOT OF WORK …. so it had better be work you definitely want to do.

And it’s not for me. Not for the rest of my life.

It took me awhile to get here, but I am looking forward to ending this phase of my life and having more focus to move forward into the next one.

I’m really really excited about it!

If you are also letting go of a past dream….

  • Allow yourself time to mourn. I’ve been thinking about this decision for at least 2 years. At least.
  • Be realistic about why. Know if you could have done better. Know if you made poor decisions. Know if it is just that your goals have changed. You’re not a failure – you’re just a different person than you were when you formed that dream.
  • Jump into your next dream. Take as much time as you need, but be BRAVE and keep moving forward.

 Be BRAVE. Fail big. Fail often.

P.S. Thanks Maggie for these shots of me working!

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  • Allie April 30, 2014 at 7:16 am edit

    I can’t tell you how much I admire you for taking this step. It’s for sure been something that has been rolling around in my mind. I so enjoy doing senior pictures and family sessions, but I dread weddings like you wouldn’t believe. It’s just exhausting. I’ve started limiting myself to only doing weddings for people that I already have a connection to. I have a hard time saying “no” to weddings because the money is good– until I think about the amount of time shooting the wedding, the editing after, and the dread I feel.

    Thumbs up for doing what is right for you. And many thumbs up for the link for the “fail often” post. Thanks Amy!

  • Amy T Schubert May 1, 2014 at 8:30 am edit

    Thanks Allie :) It’s definitely scary. I obviously love photography (especially weddings), but not enough to make it my business.

  • Amy April 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm edit

    Oh you are BRILLIANT!! I did two weddings in my life and boy they were treacherous and I wasn’t good at post editing actually don’t think I did post editing at all in those days but just the time and energy, yeah to much! You are right being a solo photographer whether portraits, etc. is HARD. I had no idea, however its the reason I don’t market or push I just take them as they come because I do enjoy the family sessions and High School Seniors as it turns out. But you don’t have to be in business to enjoy photography as you obviously know. You are brave and can’t wait to see what bigger dreams you adventure to.

  • Amy T Schubert May 1, 2014 at 8:31 am edit

    Thanks so much, Amy!

    So many people don’t realize how hard/exhausting shooting weddings are :)

  • Trina Curran May 6, 2014 at 11:49 am edit

    I just let go of one big one at school. I’m still mad about it; it didn’t end the way I wanted it to, and I could really fuss about what happened, but I won’t. Because it is opening up time and compassion for what I really LOVE (teaching) and what I really LOVE in my spare time (my BLOG!) and I have a new sense of spark and wonder to get both of those going again the way I want them to go. I think going through all the emotions of actually losing something or someone is perfectly normal, and it is a process…on to the next step. Let’s get this show on the road. :)


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